Blogging to Drive Business: Create and Maintain Valuable Customer Connections Paperback – Jan 7 2010
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“A great read! If you’re looking to start a blog for your business, this is the book for you. It’s well-written and comprehensive, including case studies and examples of real companies to make the concepts easy to understand.”
–Dee Barizo, performancing.com
“Blogging to Drive Business does an excellent job at educating the market on the critical elements required for success in the digital economy. After all, businesses only gain market share when they communicate in a way that enhances relationships. Blogging to Drive Business provides the roadmap for success!”
–Jay Deragon, Social Media Strategist
“To connect with today’s buyer, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in. And there is no better tool for this than the blog! Blogging to Drive Business is an essential guide for any business wishing to use a blog to attract a steady stream of inbound opportunities.”
–Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, Avaya Inc.
“This book provides business owners and entrepreneurs hands-on advice on starting a blog–why planning is important, who should be contributing, what tools are available, and where to find additional resources and content ideas. The authors make good use of case studies to address many of the commonly asked questions about blogging. If you’ve been on the fence about starting a blog, this book will help you draw an action plan.”
–Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent
“Butow and Bollwitt have assembled a practical guide for any company to follow as they develop a blogging strategy. Their approach is firmly planted in driving business success without overburdening executives with impractical advice or ideological mantras. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to take advantage of a blogging strategy to promote their business and connect with prospective and current customers.”
–Jeff Nolan, Venture Chronicles
“If you are looking for a practical guide to show you exactly how to use a blog to drive business, look no further, you’ve found it. As a practioner myself, I know there are some skills that can only be learned by doing. These authors know what they’re talking about because they’ve done it. Save yourself some time and invest in this book.”
–Michelle Price, CEO, A Third Mind Digital Media
“If you get blogging right, it can be a major benefit for you business. This book helps you get the strategy and planning right upfront, and then talks you through the steps you need to make your blog a success and to grow and develop it.”
–Matt Rhodes, FreshNetworks
“Blogging to Drive Business is a no-nonsense and practical guide for those who have yet to embark on the road to enhanced corporate communications. It explains why, who, what, and how to start and maintain a valuable connection with your customers via this engaging medium.”
–Hayden Sutherland, Ideal Interface (UK)
From the Back Cover
Use Blogging to Supercharge Sales, Customer Loyalty, Innovation, andProfits
“To connect with today's buyer, you need to stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers in. And there is no better tool for this than the blog!Blogging to Drive Businessis an essential guide for any business wishing to use a blog to attract a steady stream of inbound opportunities.
—Paul Dunay, Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, Avaya Inc.
Blogging can help you deepen customer loyalty, reach new customers, gain indispensable feedback, and drive more sales. This no-nonsense guide shows how to craft a business blog that does all that, and more—building your business and increasing your profits. Top e-marketers and business bloggers Eric Butow and Rebecca Bollwitt help you define clear goals, generate the right content with the right tools, attract visitors, build communities, and avoid costly mistakes. They draw on their own extensive experience, as well as the work of innovators from companies such as Intel, Wal-Mart, Google, HP, and BusinessWeek. Whatever your role in the business, you'll learn how to:
• Launch a blog that truly represents the best of your business
• Create a comprehensive, long-term blogging strategy
• Staff your blogging initiative
• Integrate blogs with other offline and online marketing programs
• Use your blog to drive customers and prospects to the business
• Push up-to-the-minute information to customers via RSS
• Build a thriving online community—and learn from what it tells you
• Manage comments (and decide whether to have them)
• Utilize podcasts, vlogs, microblogging, and other new techniques
• Gain business value from hot new Web 3.0 technologies, including widgets, mashups, personal agents, and the Semantic Web
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Unfortunately, most of the book isn't about driving business. It's about how to blog - what blogging platforms are out there, how to choose your fonts, the length of your posts, etc.
There are some pieces about business that are useful. But they're sprinkled between so much other stuff that it took a lot of reading to find them.
The book starts with blogging basics, blog terminology, explanations of different types of blogs, and how to create a blogging strategy. The authors cover the major blogging platforms currently on the market and offer suggestions on how to pick the best one for your needs. They also go into the importance of combining your blog with other forms of social networking and offer details about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
An entire chapter is devoted to what to write about. It covers ideas for internal blogs, product blogs, industry resource blogs, and using your blog to create an online community. The technical aspects of writing a blog are discussed, including how long your blog posts should be, writing effectively, editing, and design. I was very happy to see the detail in which search engine optimization (SEO) of blog posts was covered, which detailed urls, keywords, tags, categories, images, and titles.
For larger companies, there is sound information to consider on who will write the blog in your organization, who will manage it, resources on where to find professional bloggers for hire, and how to hire a blogger. It also goes over associated tasks for an in-house position that would handle your corporate blog and how to write a job description.
The authors also covered promoting your blog and getting more viewers through a combination of efforts from how to submit to search engines to online press releases and other social networking.
Images, video, audio, podcasting, SlideShare, and screencasts were discussed with suggestions on how to use them in your blog and your blog posts and how to optimize the various formats for search engine visibility.
There are a ton of relevant resources throughout the book and an appendix. The book also offers a number of case studies that give real life examples on how these blogging techniques have been used.
I would highly suggest this book to anyone just starting out in blogging, for anyone looking to improve the visibility of their current blog, or for bloggers looking for ideas on how to add some fresh content to their posts. The techniques and suggestions in "Blogging to Drive Business" can be used by companies of all sizes. I'll be recommending this book to clients who are interested in the world of corporate blogging.
This seems like a hastily cranked-out book on blogging to fill the publisher's roster of business books. Not much care has been given to visual presentation, which really hurts the book in my opinion.
If you are unable to learn about blogs and blogging by reading blogs about blogging, a book may be useful to you. The information is basic, which, if you are clueless about blogging, might still fit your needs. My real gripe is with the presentation, or lack thereof.
The presentation just isn't lively. You'll notice that good blogs are, but this book is not. I'm not saying the writing is bad, but as far as graphic design sensibilities, this book pretty much doesn't have them. It has small print and little variety to the typography. It has no sidebars or callouts to help us learn the information easier. It does have pictures, all screenshots in gray-scale. The book is printed in black and gray - single color printing.
Now you might argue that what matters is the content. But in today's over-communicated-to world you would be wrong. Especially with blogs graphic design is important because we are directing visitor attention. Mess it up and you lose your visitor. I would expect a book about engaging blog readers to be graphically well-presented like effective blogs are, but this book is not.
I communicate for a living and I use the internet to do a lot of it. Dry presentation usually doesn't cut the mustard in today's marketplace. If you want to know why and how to fix it, buy and read Your Attention Please: How to Appeal to Today's Distracted, Disinterested, Disengaged, Disenchanted, and Busy Consumer
I recently reviewed another book on blogging, which was mostly basic information on the topic, but lovingly designed and printed in 2-colors with lots of sidebars and callouts to help you learn the material. That book is Create Your Own Blog: 6 Easy Projects to Start Blogging Like a Pro
Loren's review scale:
1 star: Waste of time and paper
2 stars: Not very useful or enjoyable reading
3 stars: Average. Has moments
4 stars: Enjoyable, thought-provoking
5 stars: Excellent resource or highly enjoyable
As a small business person, I need to know just enough to get started, maintain a blog and keep it going. A blog may be more of an adjunct to my business than a driver of my business. This little book gave me enough confidence to create a blog. Down the road, I'll be ready for other books which are more complicated, but this little outline of basics got me from blog phobic to blog present.
The book is well organized for this purpose, providing both the basics of the internet and the basics of the blog-o-sphere for readers.
Probably the most relevant take-away for any blogger-to-be who is not a trained reporter or writer is that blogging is hard and is a significant responsibility and undertaking - this is covered in the, "Who will write the blog?" section.
Another section that was particularly interesting was "Getting Eyeballs to your Blog" or, as I interpret it - getting people to your blog, keeping them reading, and getting them to come back.
For the blogger-to-be who has marginal familiarity with the internet, this is a great read. For the more savvy interneter, then there are some worthwhile nuggets but nothing that will really make it worth the time\money.
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